Sheikh ‘Uthaymeen (rahimahullah) was asked a question from few students of knowledge who were beginning their journey in search of knowledge. The answer the sheikh gives is one of great benefit.
Question: We are in the beginning of our path of seeking knowledge, is there, O sheikh, May Allah bless you, any comprehensive and beneficial advice with regards to this, May Allah protect you?
Answer: “I advise you all not to concern yourselves and not to occupy yourselves with what has become a trial for some youth now in the issue of takfeer. “is he a kaafir or muslim?” “is this ruler kaafir or muslim?” If any difference occurs between the youth he says “as for this one leave him, he is a mubtadi’(innovator), he is a ikhwani, he is a tableeghi, he is a salafi” and other similar statements. The religion of islam orders its adherents with unity and to be upon the shariah of Allah.
Allah says, “And hold fast, all of you together, to the Rope of Allah (i.e. this Qur’an), and be not divided among yourselves” (al-imran)
Do not make (it) your concern to say “What about this aalim, what about that aalim?!” No, leave this and head towards seeking knowledge and acting upon it and leave the people. None of the scholars are ma’soom (devoid of sins and mistakes). Everyone makes mistakes and is right. Whoever makes a mistake we don’t accept his mistakes and whoever is right we accept his correctness.
Do you not know that Allah tabarak wa ta’aala accepted the saying of the mushrikeen and they were mushrikoon?! Yes, Allah said, “And when they commit a Fahishah (evil deed) they say: “We found our fathers doing it” (al-a’raaf). This is (their first) argument. “and Allah has commanded it on us.” And this is their second argument (in defence of their evil practices).
But what did Allah say? He said, “Say, Nay Allah never commands fahishah”. Allah disproved their argument (that Allah commanded them with evil practices) and remained silent on their second argument “we found our fore-fathers upon it” because it was true. Allah accepted their (first) argument even though it was from the statements of the mushrikeen.
Don’t you know, that when the shaytaan told abu hurairah, “I will tell you a few words by which Allah will benefit you. When you go to your bed, recite Ayatul Kursi, for then there will be a guard from Allah who will protect you all night long, and Satan will not be able to come near you till dawn.” (sahih al-bukhari). When abu hurairah (radi Allah anhu) told the prophet (pbuh) regarding this he said “he told the truth though he is a liar”
Do you not know about the jew who came to the prophet and said that they, the Jews, had found in their Scriptures that on the Day of Judgement Allah will place the heavens on one Finger, the earths on one Finger,…. Etc The prophet (pbuh) laughed, accepting this statement of truth, he (pbuh) confirmed (the validity of) this statement, and then corroborated it by reciting the verse “No just estimate have they made of Allaah such as is due to Him: On the Day of Resurrection, the whole of the earth will be in His Grasp” (al-zumar)
A yahoodi said the truth, it was accepted. The mushrikoon said the truth, it was accepted. The shaytaan said the truth, it was accepted.
O my brother! Do not make it your characteristic and your concern (with), “what do you say about this fulaan?! What do you say about this fulaan?! Fulaan became kaafir, fulaan innovated, fulaan became a faasiq!! This wont benefit. It is with regret that this Islamic awakening among the youth – praise be to Allah and may He make them firm – is afflicted with this fitnah and shamefulness, disuniting the youth because of this aalim or that aalim. The scholar, if he has passed away, then he is in front of Allah, and Allah is in charge of him. If he is alive then the truth is accepted from any person and falsehood is rejected from any person….” (Liq’aat al-baab al-maftooh)